Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Released: December 2016
Rebellions are built on hope
December 17th, 2016 16:40 IST
I just got home from the new Star Wars movie today. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Star Wars franchise timeline goes a bit like this: First there’s the original trilogy which was the pioneer in science fiction and visual effects. It has a “Chosen One saves the world (well in this case, the galaxy) from evil” storyline. Next was the prequel trilogy which took a peek into the life of the primary antagonist in the original trilogy but failed to deliver from the storyline point of view. The visual effects and editing took a quantum leap forward though. The current trilogy is the sequel trilogy which takes place 30 years after the events of the original trilogy and has not yet been finished.
Rogue One, though, fits somewhere in between. It is an independent movie and not part of any of the trilogies. It is kind of like a sequel to the prequel trilogy and it leads up to the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. The hardcore Star Wars fans knew that this movie has nothing to do with the events of Episode VII but many of the sci-fi fans who were there in the spirit of “The new Star Wars movie is here” and had watched only Episode VII were left baffled as the story had no connection to Episode VII. It is independent from the conventional Star Wars plotlines and motifs such as foreshadowing, surprise reveals and extensive use of The Force.
THEMES & STORY
Let’s talk about the story now and the various aspects. Although I will be discussing the plot in brief, be warned that there will be spoilers ahead.
As I said before, the story of Rogue One revolves around events that lead up to the Episode IV storyline. In my opinion, Rogue One was one of the best Star Wars movies as the storyline and concepts were more mature in comparison. It shows how gruesome wars can be. All Star Wars movies show some amount of violence and death (it is named Star “Wars” for a reason). But usually, it is just one mildly-significant-to-the-story character that dies and the consequence is just some amount of difficulty the hero has to face in order to win. Basically, death is treated more like an obstacle and the big picture is given more attention. In comparison, Rogue One shows us that in any war, and for any great cause, there is a multitude of martyrs on both sides and everyone, regardless of allegiance believes that they are helping a better cause. It shows the true face of war and the real meaning of love.
The story opens with the exposition of the main characters, beginning with a young Jyn Erso and her family living somewhere around the Outer Rim. A conflict arises when the Imperial Director captures Jyn’s father to complete his creation, the Death Star. Jyn barely manages to escape capture and is rescued by Gurerra, a Rebel ally. From here, the plot follows a template similar to the other Star Wars episodes and sci-fi movies. There is a flash forward and Jyn joins forces with a rebel alliance. There are a few secrets revealed that act as setbacks to the protagonists. A secondary conflict comes to light after Jyn realises that the primary motive of their Rebel mission is not to seek information about the Death Star or its authenticity; it is to eliminate her father and consequently halt the completion of the Death Star. After some dilly-dallying, an action-packed climax in the form of a great war follows. The story doesn’t have too much of a happy ending. But they are able to deliver the much-needed schematics to the princess of Alderaan. Thus begins Episode IV of the Star Wars Saga.
MY OVERALL TAKE AND FINAL OPINION
I genuinely feel this is one of the best Star Wars movies in terms of story and plotline. There are many funny bits interwoven in all the tragedy. Even the iconic Darth Vader makes an appearance along with a lightsaber in the end. All in all, I feel that this was a much-needed single which helps us to understand how the events of the original trilogy came to be. It solves a few plot-holes in the story of Episode IV. Even the Storm Troopers actually hit on target 😛